Cod, Fires, and Carp

A few pieces of Tuesday Nooze: First, from Dan Moulthrop, reporting for Latitude News on PRX, a long look at why American cod fishermen are broke, and Norwegian fishermen are bringing home six-figure salaries:

Two Nations, Under Cod

What’s for dinner? Probably not cod. Cod was once so common in American homes it was simply called “fish.” Now you’ll find cod featured on menus in fancy restaurants. When the cod fishery collapsed in the 1990s, it devastated fishing communities around the world. The American towns still have not recovered; meanwhile, Norway is catching record amounts of cod. What’s so special about Norway? ... Hear more.


Two (more) stories about Colorado's fires from Michael Kodas, both in OnEarth magazine:

Climate Change Fuels the Perfect Firestorm

The last time I chased wildfires across Colorado was in 2003, while serving as a seasonal wildland firefighter for the U.S. Forest Service. I was part of a crew of 20, bouncing through the Rocky Mountains in a battered school bus to put out fires with names like Crazy Woman and the Bluebird. It was a war fought with rakes, spades, axes, and chainsaws, in which I extinguished more flames with shovelfuls of dirt than I did with water. The year before, Colorado had lost 133 homes and more than 138,000 acres to the Hayman fire, at the time the most destructive in state history.

Climate change wasn’t even on the radar of most firefighters I worked with back then, and when the topic did come up, there was a healthy amount of skepticism. This year, it’s hard to find a wildland firefighter who isn’t convinced the warming of the West is making his job more difficult and dangerous... Read more.

First the Fire, Then the Flood: Why Colorado Can't Catch a Break

Praying for rain is common when your state is beset by record-setting blazes, but as always, be careful what you wish for. Heavy downpours create their own hazards. The irony was highlighted for me two weeks ago when the city of Colorado Springs found itself simultaneously under a “red flag” fire warning and a flash flood warning.... Read more.


And John Flesher with the AP reports on the question everyone in the Great Lakes region has been wondering about: Just how far have the Asian carp gone?

Asian Carp DNA Found in Year-Old Lake Erie Samples

Genetic material from Asian carp has been discovered in Lake Erie water samples collected nearly a year ago, officials said Friday.

Researchers with the University of Notre Dame, Central Michigan University and The Nature Conservancy detected DNA from the invasive fish this week when examining more than 400 samples taken in August 2011. It's the first time DNA from bighead and silver carp has turned up in Lake Erie, although three bighead were caught there between 1995 and 2000.

Scientists are uncertain about whether carp DNA signals the presence of actual fish, but the findings are unsettling because experts have described Erie as the lake that could suffer the biggest harm from an Asian carp incursion. Some say the DNA could be from other sources, such as feces from fish-eating birds.... Read more.